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01-26-2013, 12:52 PM
vadim sharifijanov
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 14,931
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on top of all the little tricks gretzky probably showed to his teammates, and the way he taught them to see the game in a more profound way, i think you kind of just have to put yourself in coffey's or messier's or kurri's skates and ask yourself: if the greatest and most talented player you'd ever seen was also the hardest working guy on the team and did more to constantly try to improve himself than anyone else, even though he was lapping the league from day one and kept breaking his own staggering records, wouldn't that change the how you hard you work and prepare?

and honestly, that was the difference between mario and gretzky. both obviously made their teammates better, and i doubt jagr is as great as he is without watching mario close up as a teenager and learning from him, but on the other hand, mario didn't relentlessly try to better himself. the talent was there, and i'm not saying he was lazy, but he didn't have the drive to maximize himself because, come on, he was already so far ahead of everyone else.

and when we look at the careers of mario's teammates vs. gretzky's, you look at coffey, kurri, messier, and anderson. every one of those guys wildly exceeded what was expected out of them. you couldn't imagine those guys having better careers than they actually did. whereas jagr, as great as he was, did leave you wanting more at times. recchi would be the one guy who came into the league under mario's watch that you could say overachieved (though he had his own down years in montreal). but dan quinn, rob brown, kevin stevens (extremely hard worker on the ice, but dedication off the ice...), markus naslund (took losing really well), aleksey morozov...

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